The Human Apparatus

Two men were sitting on a park bench, one reading a newspaper, the other, people watching.

The First Man laughed and said out loud:

“There’s an article here that says humans are primates and we share a lot of DNA with apes. What do you think? Is that a put down or NOT?”

The Second Man, who had a long beard, eyed the First Man up and down and then said:

“I’ve got a bigger put down.”

“Oh yea, what’s that?”

“I think a human is an Apparatus!”

“An Apparatus? You mean like an Engine?”

“Yes! What a human is, is due to his genes, the influence of his hereditary and environment, and his relationships. He is moved and directed by OUTSIDE INFLUENCES. He originates nothing.”

“Boy, that’s a put down! I don’t want to think of myself as an engine.”

“Even your thoughts are not originated by you. You are an Apparatus, an Engine, believe me.”

“Well, I have a thought right now that you are talking Balderdash!”

“I get those opinions all the time, BUT you did NOT create that opinion.

It was formed from thoughts and opinions gathered from books, conversations that have landed in your brain out of the brains of your parents, friends and ancestors.”

“Like I said, Balderdash!”

“You can’t even say you put the borrowed thoughts together, that was done automatically by your mental apparatus. You have no command over your thoughts.”

“What if I change my thought?”

“You can’t by yourself, but OUTSIDE influences can do it.”

“Suppose I want to enter into a study with the purpose of changing my opinion and I succeed. That is NOT the work of outside influences. It’s my thought and I originated the project.”

“No, you are wrong. Your project grew out of this conversation with me. No man originates anything. All you thoughts come from the OUTSIDE.’

The First Man was getting irritated.

“Okay, answer me this, what about the creations of novelists and painters?”

“Oh, you mean their IMITATIONS. They created nothing! They observed and wrote and painted what they observed.

No apparatus or engine can create!”


After a minute of silence, the First Man spoke up loudly:

“I suppose you don’t believe in Free Will.”

The Second Man laughed.

“There is NO such thing!

Does the man possess it when he gives the beggar his last dollar and goes home wondering what he will eat that day? No!”

“He had the choice between helping the beggar or leaving him suffer. It was his Free Will at work.”

The Second Man said, stroking his beard:

“A choice was made, between his physical comfort or his spiritual comfort.

This is NOT Free Will. I call it forced choice at best, the apparatus at work.”

“I say the man determined it and in doing so, exercised Free Will.”

“Look, in the story of the man and the beggar, we clearly saw he really had NO Free Will.

His temperament, his training and his education had molded him. He was compelled to help the beggar and then he would save himself from spiritual pain. He did NOT make the choice, it was made for him by forces he could NOT control.”

“You keep confusing me. How would you conclude this conversation.”

“I would tell you that the human being is an Apparatus, driven by the purpose to satisfy his own desires and achieve peace of mind.

Our wills are not of our own making, given the unconscious origins of our conscious minds. So, Free Will is an illusion.

Primal emotions are in our unconscious, such as fear, mother-love and guilt.

We have all these in our unconscious that influence our behaviors.”

The First Man got up and walked away scratching his head.


Visit Australia via My Imagination

“G’ day mate!” said the “bush’ hunter sitting next to me at the Outback Pub that was on my Australian itinerary.

“Hi”, I said timidly, as I sipped my ice-cold beer.

This guy looked exactly like “Crocodile Dundee”.

Rugged looking and wearing an Akubra, a wide brimmed hat made out of rabbit fur felt. He had the same sleeveless vest and brown jeans that Dundee wore with brown boots.

But my attention was drawn to the knife hanging from his belt.

“You noticed my knife, let me show it to you,” he said, drawing it out of its sheath.

“Boy, that’s a knife!” I said, inspecting it.

It had at least a 10 inch blade and a 5 inch handle, 15 inches long in total!

Dundee put it back in its sheath and smiled.

I imagined all the various uses of that large knife.


I looked around at the walls of the pub, they were plastered with foreign money, women’s lingerie, and a photo of a scantily clad lady with the caption, “the night when things got interesting”.

The menu was on the wall featuring Camel Sausages and BBQ Kangaroo meat.

Yum, yum! I didn’t have the guts to order. Anyway, I wasn’t hungry.

“You have camels in Australia?” I asked Dundee.

“Yes mate, they were imported from Arabia in the 19th century for transport and heavy work.”

“That’s interesting,” I said, getting off my stool.

I shook hands with Dundee, he had an iron grip, and I imagined his hands around a crocodile’s neck!!!


I walked out into the sunbaked plains of the Northern Territory.

There were several white painted Aboriginal dancers performing a ceremonial ritual in front of me. They weren’t sweating at all, but it was pouring off of me!

Country music was filtering out of the Outback Pub, quite a backdrop for the scene in front of me. A lone man was playing a didgeridoo, which is a long wooden tube which is blown to produce a deep guttural sound.


About 25 feet from me in a clump of bushes were some large spiders and a snake.

I wondered how deadly they were!

There was a river nearby and the locals said it was filled with crocodiles. I decided NOT to go for a swim!

In the distance, about a quarter of a mile, I saw a kangaroo hopping around. I could just make out a joey (baby) in her pouch.

As I walked closer to get a better look, the kangaroo stopped and stared at me.

This Roo was huge, about 6 and ½ feet tall and 200 pounds!

I backed up and bumped into Dundee. I bounced off him like a rubber ball.

“Watch out, mate, you’ll hurt yourself,” he laughed.

I steadied myself.

“You’re watching a “large foot”. They have powerful hind legs and large feet for leaping. They can reach speeds of 35 mph and cover 25 feet in a single leap.

Also, they can jump over 6 feet high!”

With that, Dundee jumped into his dusty pickup truck and drove away down the dirt track.


I sat down on an outside bench and closed my eyes…when I opened them, I was back in Sydney by the harbor.

I computed I must have traveled almost 2000 miles from the Northern Territory to Sydney!

I thought about the vastness that gives Australia its character.

The 48 contiguous states of the USA and Australia are just about equal in area size! But the population of Oz is only 21 million compared to the US at 325 million!


I noticed I was dressed in my best suit and then I remembered I was going to a concert at the Sydney Opera House.

What a contrast from the wildness of the outback to the luxury of the Opera House!

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most famous and distinctive buildings in the world. It is Australia’s icon.

At a distance, it looks like 6 overlapping shells. Very unusual geometry, I was amazed looking at it.

I went into the concert hall, it was huge, almost 3000 seats and it contains the Grand Organ with over 10,000 pipes!


The next day I was scheduled to climb the Sydney Bridge!!!

It is a huge arch bridge, 440 feet from the top to water level, and 160 feet wide.

I was determined to face my FEAR of heights!

They give you a safety briefing, then they suit you up and clip you onto a safety wire. You follow your guide up and up on ladders and catwalks, stopping at scenic points.

At the top you get a breath taking view of the entire harbor. The wind was blowing a gale!

When you descend, you receive a certificate of completion and a photo in your jump suit! I will pin this on my study wall!


I then took a coach tour down the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne on Victoria’s south-west coast.

It has a variety of scenery, there are breath taking cliff top views over-looking the water, watching the waves roll in. I saw the 12 Apostles, they are craggy limestone stacks rising out of the Southern Ocean. I also saw some seals lying about.


I had to see the Great Barrier Reef. I took a glass-bottom boat tour of the reef.

Fancy some snorkeling?

The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland.

It can be seen from space and is the biggest structure made by living organisms.

It is composed of billions of coral polyps. The colors were mind-boggling.

It stretches over 1400 miles!


Back in Sydney to complete my Australian trip, I decided to take in some night life.

I went to the Shady Pine Saloon, where I was greeted by a taxidermied deer and Johnny Cash on the stereo.

Where was I? In Sydney or Nashville?

I ordered a shiraz wine which Australia is noted for.

It was a well-balanced wine and went down easily.

I had three glasses!!!


Then I went to The Absinthe Salon Pub. This was the highlight of the night!

The Salon is decorated in the Art Nouveau style and the waiters were dressed in 1890’s outfits. Absinthe is the drink favored by artists and writers including Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.

They sit you down at a table equipped with an Absinthe fountain. The fountain allows iced water to drip over a lump of sugar into the green aniseed concoction.

Some of these drinks are 75 proof!

You are only allowed three because of the strength.

If you had more, you might see a bright green Kylie Minogue fluttering about!!!


I’ll leave you with some trademarks of Australia:

Kangaroos, koalas, platypuses and other critters, outback pubs, BBQ’s, and Aboriginal dances and art.

Australian inventions include the bionic ear and the black box flight recorder.

Canberra, New South Wales, is the capital.


Australia is as Big as your imagination and mine is very BIG!